Half Eagle -> 1846-C


  • Half Eagle 1838 - 1861
  • Liberty Head 1839 - 1861
  • Diameter: 22.5 millimeters
  • Fineness: .900
  • Weight: 129 grains
  • Designer: Christian Gobrecht
  • Edge: Reeded
  • Coiner: John R. Bolton

After a one year hiatus, the Charlotte Mint reopened in 1846. The demand for half eagles was very strong and as a result most survivors show extensive wear and heavy marks from long, hard years in circulation. This is usually a well struck issue. High grade examples show very good luster but the typical piece is well worn and shows little--if any--luster. The overall and high grade rarity of the 1846-C is nearly identical to the 1844-C. For the 1846-C, there are an estimated 75-85 known with possibly a dozen grading About Uncirculated. Only two Mint State coins are known, the finest of which is illustrated above. This is an issue which is very hard to locate above Extremely Fine-40 and the collector of high grade Charlotte coins should not hesitate to capitalize on the opportunity to purchase an appealing, high specimen if one is offered.

Condition Census

  1. Paul Dingler collection, ex Doug Winter/Lee Minshull, Elrod collection, Bowers and Ruddy Eliasberg collection (10/82): 440, John Clapp, Samuel Hudson Chapman's David Wilson collection (3/1907). Graded MS-63 by PCGS but in my opinion, this coin should be in an MS-64 holder. This is the plate coin in both editions of this book.
  2. Stack's 5/95: 463, Ed Milas collection. Graded MS-62 by NGC. Repurchased at the sale by the consignor for $50,400.
  3. Private collection, ex AUCTION USA 8/91: 313, Walter Perschke, Stack's 2/80: 63, Stack's 1/74: 632. Later graded AU-58 by NGC.
  4. New York Gold Mart (Ron Karp), ex Christie's/Spink's Byron Reed collection (10/96): 457. Later graded AU-58 by NGC. 5 (tie). Mid American Rare Coin Auctions Dodson collection (5/92): 129. Later graded AU-55 by PCGS (and) North Carolina collection, ex Doug Winter, Paul Dingler, graded AU-55 by NGC. One or two other AU-55 examples are probably known as well.

The coin in the Charlotte Mint Museum's collection appears to grade About Uncirculated-55 or better. It is difficult to ascertain the precise grade of any of the coins in this collection due to the (current) difficulty in viewing them.